2017 F1

Mercedes has options if Rosberg talks fail – Wolff

Mercedes has options if Rosberg talks fail - Wolff

Mercedes has options if Rosberg talks fail – Wolff

Pascal Wehrlein is a real alternative for Mercedes as early as next year should negotiations with Nico Rosberg falter.

That is the warning of team boss Toto Wolff, as it becomes increasingly clear that talks about extending Rosberg’s stay at the German team could be fraught.

It is believed Rosberg, assisted by family friend Gerhard Berger, is pushing for a retainer much closer to the value if Lewis Hamilton’s current deal.

“Right now, our goal is to continue with Nico,” Austrian Wolff told Sport Bild.

“But if we do not come together, we have to think of something else.”

Wolff suggested that although Rosberg has been driving impressively over the last seven or eight months, Mercedes is also in a strong bargaining position.

“We know that we have the strongest car, a very strong team and are well positioned for the future as well,” he insisted. “That would be the main argument for Nico.

“We also know what we have in him,” Wolff added.

The fact Mercedes has a theoretical free seat for 2017 will undoubtedly mean that top drivers like Fernando Alonso are potentially interested in filling it.

What if Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also makes an enquiry?

“I would tell him the same thing I’ve said to others in recent years,” Wolff answered. “‘First, we are talking to our regular drivers. Only when we do not reach agreement, we can start to look around’,” he added.

Wolff also insisted that Mercedes has an in-house option for 2017 in the form of reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who this year was loaned out to Manor.

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “He has shown in DTM that he can win championships.

“At the moment he is in his apprenticeship at Manor and on the right track to being at Mercedes at some point,” added Wolff.

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4 Comments
  • Boycottthebull

    Sorry but I dont think Wehrlein has earned that seat yet. He has not really shone compared to Harryanto who is just a temp pay driver. He may have been great in DTM but that doesnt always translate to a championship F1 driver.

  • 92gsr

    Remember when Heikki Kovalainen though he was as good as Hamilton? The thing is, Hamilton’s data is a cheat sheet for his teammates. They know where to make up time and how much it will be. Without that data they’re left on their own, not doing as well as they did when they were Hamilton’s teammate.

    My silly season predictions are:
    Depending on Gasly’s GP2 season Toro Rosso wiill drop Kvyat for Gasly
    Williams drops Massa for Kvyat
    McLaren drops Button for Vandoorne
    Haas will drop Gutierrez (if Ferrari lets them) and pick up Rossi

    Wild cards:
    Verstappen doesn’t get it together at RedBull and they promote Sainz causing Jos to put his son on the market opening a wave of changes.
    Alonso AND Button walk away from McLaren which would cause Honda to sell customer engines.

    Everybody else is in the best team they can achieve at the moment so they can’t and won’t go elsewhere.

  • There is a list as long as my arm of drivers that want a Mercedes drive.
    It’s a question of who would be a better replacement for Nico, assuming that talks with Nico break down which they won’t.

    Wehrlein, Bottas, KMag, Sainz, Hulkenberg are all ready for top drive. Even Ricciardo could throw his hat into the mix given how pissed off he’s been lately with Red Bull’s performance.
    Mercedes will want at least 1 German driver so that’s Rosberg, Hulk or Wehrlein.

    Alonso has inquired previously but I highly doubt Ron will let him go.

  • Sakae

    OK, Mercedes is saying, we have leverage over Nico in negotiations. Take it, or leave it. One wonders what are Nico’s (acceptable) options.

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